Meet some of our students

Our students are incredibly diverse and talented. They range in age from recent graduates to mature-age students, with experience that includes teaching, law, government and media, among other professions. Our students hail from Australia, the Americas, Europe and Asia, enriching each other with a wide range of perspectives on the US.


Patrick Batchelor

Patrick BatchelorMy postgrad study put me on the campaign trail

Master of United States Studies graduate, Patrick Batchelor, became a key weapon in US President Barack Obama's bid for re-election. Heading up the US Democratic Party's volunteer efforts in the state of Texas, Patrick says it felt like an episode of the West Wing. Patrick's postgraduate study at the University of Sydney equipped him with the expertise to propel his career on to the international stage.

Rebecca Armitage

Rebecca ArmitageMy postgrad study put me to work on Capitol Hill

As part of her Master of United States Studies, Rebecca Armitage put study into practice working as an intern on Capitol Hill. From a US congressional briefing about foreign journalists in Russia, to the plight of Roma people, Rebecca experienced first-hand the inner workings of US politics. A producer with ABC Radio’s International Desk, Rebecca says her postgraduate study gave her career in journalism an international edge.

Justin Burke

Justin BurkeMy postgrad study led me to my dream job

Looking for a career change after 10 years in business, Justin Burke signed up for the Master of United States Studies. A self-confessed “American politics junkie”, Justin was able to use his study to pursue his passion for writing and blogging. Upon graduating, Justin secured a position as a journalist at The Australian, and says that his postgraduate study gave him the competitive edge to land his dream job.

Laura Crommelin

Laura CrommelinLaura Crommelin worked for a number of years in competition and telecommunications law before deciding to move from Melbourne to join the Masters program. She holds a combined BA/LLB. She is a recipient of a Susan B Anthony scholarship.

"I find the range of topics covered in the program fascinating - while learning about the US, I am also learning about disciplines that I never had a chance to study during my undergraduate degree (finance, foreign relations, cultural studies, history, psychology ... the list goes on). In this way, as well as gaining expertise in issues affecting the US, I'm broadening my understanding of other nations, of Australia, and even of myself!

Another great aspect of the Masters program is the clever course structure and the close interaction between students and staff. I appreciate the flexibility and responsiveness of the academics involved in the program. They seem just as keen to learn from us as we are from them."

Matthew Cross

Matthew CrossMatthew Cross has worked and studied legislative and electoral politics. He has previously worked for a Federal Government Minister and on a number of State and Federal campaigns, including the 2004 US presidential election in Washington DC. He holds a BA (Hons) from the University of Sydney. Matthew is pursuing a Master of US Studies and is a recipient of a Susan B Anthony scholarship.

"The US Studies program is the only academic program in Australia that focuses on the US in a detailed and analytical manner. The opportunity to meet and work with academics, business leaders and like-minded students is unique.

As a proud Australian citizen who has an interest in the US, it is great to study about the US looking at it from an Australasian and international point of view. Completing a Masters in US Studies will give me the confidence and skills to apply and undertake academic and business opportunities internationally."

Dean FernandezDean Fernandez

Dean works as a government lawyer and holds a combined Arts/Law degree from the University of Technology Sydney. He has previously worked as an intern for the NSW Minister for Citizenship and Aboriginal Affairs and represents clients from socio-economically disadvantaged backgrounds on a daily basis. He is undertaking a Master of US Studies and is a recipient of the Rosa Parks Scholarship.

"I have a newfound appreciation of the workings, achievements, and messiness of the US Congress, and take great pride that for a brief period I was intimately part of it all."

Erin RileyErin Riley

Erin Riley is currently a Master of Letters in US Studies student at the United States Studies Centre. Since completing her undergraduate degree in 2005, she has worked in both new and traditional media. She has written extensively for a range of outlets, including the Irish Examiner and, and she contributed a chapter to the Michael Roberts' book The Barrackers are Shouting.

In early 2010, Erin spent two months working on Capitol Hill through the prestigious University Capitol Washington Internship Program.

Erin is a new media aficionado, with a great fondness for the American political blogosphere. She has been blogging at her own site,, since 2007. Erin currently works as Web Communications Manager at Horticulture Australia Ltd. She has a Bachelor of Arts (Hons) from the University of New South Wales.

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